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George Kissell

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George Marshall Kissell

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 9", Weight 175 lb.
  • School Ithaca College

BR minors page

[edit] Biographical Information

George Kissell was employed by the St. Louis Cardinals from 1940 until his death in 2008. His affiliation with the club is the longest in baseball. His last position was as a spring training instructor. The Pinellas Park police said Kissell had been a passenger in a car driven by his daughter, Karolyn Kidwell, that collided with another auto.

He graduated from Ithaca College and holds a bachelor's degree and master's degree in physical education and history.

Kissell began his career as an infielder after a tryout in Rochester in 1940. He was signed by Branch Rickey for $125 a month. He led the Southeastern League in Stolen Bases with 31 in 1942 and the Pony League in Triples with 15 in 1949. After three years of service in the U.S. Navy during World War II, it was clear Kissell was not headed to Sportsman's Park so he began coaching in the minor leagues but continued to play until 1952.

Kissell managed the independent Lawrence Millionaires in 1946 where one of his players was Lawrence "Crash" Davis. He managed the Hamilton Cardinals in 1948 and 1949. He managed the 1950 Winston-Salem Cardinals to a 106-47 record and the Carolina League title. That team was selected as the 61st greatest team in minor league history. Kissell managed the Omaha Cardinals form 1951 to 1953, the Columbus Cardinals in 1954, the Lynchburg Cardinals in 1955, the Peoria Chiefs (not Cardinals??) in 1956, and the Winston-Salem Red Birds in 1957. From 1958 to 1962, he scouted instead of managing except briefly in 1961 he was the second of five managers for the Johnson City Cardinals. Resuming managing, he was with the Brunswick Cardinals in 1963, the Raleigh Cards in 1964, the FRL Cardinals in 1965, and the GCL Cardinals from 1966 to mid-1968. He became a coach for the big-league Cards in 1969

On the 1950 Winston-Salem team was a young second baseman named Earl Weaver. Weaver, a Hall of Famer, has called Kissell one of his greatest influences in baseball. Kissell also advised Tony LaRussa to go into coaching.

Kissell served at the major league level under manager Red Schoendienst from 1969 to 1975. In 1976, he returned to the minors. His current title is senior field coordinator for player development.

2006 marked Kissell's 67th season in the Cardinals organization.

[edit] Year-by-Year Managerial Record

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1946 Lawrence Millionaires New England League 65-53 5th none
1947 Lawrence Millionaires/Lowell Orphans New England League 40-84 8th none
1948 Hamilton Cardinals PONY League 73-52 3rd St. Louis Cardinals Lost in 1st round
1949 Hamilton Cardinals PONY League 75-50 3rd St. Louis Cardinals Lost League Finals
1950 Winston-Salem Cardinals Carolina League 106-47 1st St. Louis Cardinals League Champs
1951 Omaha Cardinals Western League 90-64 1st St. Louis Cardinals Lost in 1st round
1952 Omaha Cardinals Western League 86-68 3rd St. Louis Cardinals Lost League Finals
1953 Omaha Cardinals Western League 74-80 5th St. Louis Cardinals
1954 Columbus Cardinals South Atlantic League 51-86 8th St. Louis Cardinals
1955 Lynchburg Cardinals Piedmont League 64-67 5th St. Louis Cardinals
1956 Peoria Chiefs Three-I League 58-58 4th St. Louis Cardinals none
1957 Winston-Salem Red Birds Carolina League 72-68 4th St. Louis Cardinals
1961 Johnson City Cardinals Appalachian League St. Louis Cardinals replaced Ed Lyons July 1
replaced by Charles Frey July 16
1963 Brunswick Cardinals Georgia-Florida League 52-64 4th St. Louis Cardinals none
1964 Raleigh Cards Carolina League 76-62 4th St. Louis Cardinals
1965 FRL Cardinals Florida Rookie League 27-31 5th St. Louis Cardinals none
1966 GCL Cardinals Gulf Coast League 20-28 4th St. Louis Cardinals none
1967 GCL Cardinals Gulf Coast League 25-32 6th St. Louis Cardinals none
1968 GCL Cardinals Gulf Coast League St. Louis Cardinals none replaced by Ray Hathaway

He also managed the Cardinals' entry in the 1962-68 Florida Instructional League.

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